Chapter 3.26

clarence library; three weeks later

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“Rey! Rey Windsor!”

I turned, smiling automatically when I saw a black-haired woman grin eagerly at me. “Yes?” I said.

She held up a slip of paper and a pen and, looking like she was about to break out into dance, said breathlessly, “I saw your piece in last month’s Elegance — can I get your autograph?”

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Chapter 3.25

ivory college; 5 pm

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The next morning, I woke up early to get my things together for the day. Although classes didn’t start for another day, today we had orientation activities in the student center, and I wanted to be prepared.

Elle was still sleeping when I woke up, so I tiptoed out for a morning jog along the lake. While the campus was miles away from any city, the natural splendor more than made up for the lack of commercial amenities.

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Chapter 3.24

ivory college; 9:07 am

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This was it — move in day. Uncle Alistair, Aunt Lane, and Finn had already left for the long drive back home, and it was all I could do to stop myself from hiding in the car and going back with them.

I was terrified to begin college. I hated voicing my concerns — especially because it seemed like Anakin, Caleb, and Elle were ecstatic to begin their new lives.

“This is it!” Anakin said brightly. “Valentine Hall.”

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Chapter 3.23

the windsor residence; 10:50 pm

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After Finn had been put to bed and everything had quieted down after Uncle Alistair’s big announcement, I crept out to the backyard to think.

I knew I was being selfish for even wishing that Uncle Alistair didn’t have to go, but I couldn’t deny my emotions. Everything was changing so quickly — I was going to college this fall (something that terrified me — I would know practically no one, and how was I going to deal with the new living situation? I barely passed high school — how was I supposed to handle college lectures?), 42nd was beginning to take off, Uncle Alistair would be in space in a few months, Finn was growing more each day…

It was overwhelming.

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Chapter 3.22

velma models studio; several months later

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“You look great, Rey!”

I smiled, ducking my head, and said, “It does feel a bit odd to be wearing winter clothes in the middle of summer, though.”

Velma laughed and handed me a water bottle. “Here, you ought to stay hydrated.”

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Chapter 3.21

ever city; one year later

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“Rey,” said the woman before me. Although her face was lined with wrinkles, I could see her features in mine. We had the same nose, jaw, mouth..even our eye shape was similar, although hers were dark brown while mine were a pale grey-blue.

She reached out for a hug, and I stepped forward gladly.

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